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November 27, 2018
Days before deadline, a new online system for applying to NYC schools raises concerns
The new website replaces the old process: students filled out paper applications that ranked their school choices and turned the paperwork into their guidance counselors, who would enter the information into a central system.
July 18, 2017
My high school told me to apply to 100 colleges — and I almost lost myself in the process
"High schools have become obsessed with million-dollar scholars, and it’s hurting students," says Anisah Karim of Memphis.
beyond high school
January 26, 2017
Haslam: Tennessee must step up its role in guiding high school students to college and career
More Tennessee ninth-graders are graduating from high school in four years, but not enough are furthering their education to be ready for today's jobs, officials say.
Win a counselor
September 26, 2016
These 30 Tennessee schools are getting new college counselors, courtesy of the governor’s office
Gov. Haslam's new initiative pays for a counselor dedicated to the college process — a luxury at schools where guidance counselors juggle social work, scheduling, and test administration.
July 13, 2016
Too few and too busy: With school counselors overwhelmed, Indiana kids fall through cracks
With Indiana one of the worst states for the number of school counselors per student, counselors don't have enough time to get to everyone.
March 8, 2016
How one New York City school handles eighth grade’s biggest drama: high school letter day
Eighth-graders received their high school matches Friday, a day that can unleash unbridled elation, or crushing dejection.
October 15, 2015
McQueen prioritizes literacy, early learning, teacher prep in five-year strategic plan
Tennessee's education chief announces a strategic plan to elevate Tennessee academically from one of the nation's lowest performing states to the top half in five years.
Where's the data?
September 29, 2014
City Council prods city to provide data on guidance counselors
When councilmembers asked how many high school students the city has -- so that they could calculate the ratio on their own -- the education officials, including Lois Herrera, head of the Office of Guidance and School Counseling, faltered. “It’s not something we’re calculating on a regular basis,” Herrera said.
May 9, 2014
A college counselor, his students, and the vision of a life beyond poverty: an exclusive excerpt from “Hold Fast To Dreams”
For low-income students from an under-resourced school, Joshua Steckel knows that college essays are a crucial way to stand out. But he is unprepared for the complexity of asking students to write about their lives when, in many cases, they have been shaped by struggle and trauma.
March 21, 2014
I navigate high school admissions for my job, and it’s still confusing
A middle school guidance counselor explains how gaps in understanding and resources diminish the power of the high school admissions process.
March 21, 2014
Five things we learned from Fariña's City Council testimony
Here are a some changes (and potential changes) Fariña mentioned in nearly three hours of testimony, including new co-location peacemakers and new incentives for arts education.
October 5, 2012
Comments of the week: Weighing the need for more counselors
Two news items sparked disagreements in our comments section over the role guidance counselors play in schools this week. First, we reported that the city would be rotating guidance counselors and social workers who lack permanent positions between multiple schools throughout the year. In past years, the nearly 300 counselors who are members of the Absent Teacher Reserve, (the pool of teachers who lack permanent jobs) stayed in one school for the length of a school year, or longer. But this year they will rotate from week to week to different schools, where they will perform administrative duties, but probably won't be working one-on-one with students. Then City Comptroller John Liu called for an increase in school counseling positions during a speech outlining his educational policy ideas that could help students prepare for college. Liu, a likely mayoral candidate, said city students so badly need help applying to college that it would be worth spending the money to hire 1,600 new guidance counselors—more than double the city's current fleet of 1,300. Commenters on the stories argued about the merits of both of these plans. Many, but not all, said hiring more guidance counselors would be an unequivocally good idea, particularly at a time when fewer schools have the budget to take on extra support staff. "Mikemadden" described guidance counselors as "the lifeblood" of their schools: The average person on the street cannot understand how valuable Guidance Counselors are to the students. Guidance Counselors provide social emotional support for kids in high needs. Guidance Counselors work with staff including Principal, Asst. Principals, teachers in planning out student success paths. Guidance Counselors provide all the programs for students, program changes, transcript reviews with students. college planning with students, family meetings with parents, attendance monitoring.....should I keep going...
October 4, 2012
City comptroller proposes hiring 1,600 new guidance counselors
Comptroller John Liu proposed hiring more guidance counselors today at a press conference where he was flanked by union officials and education advocates. The education policy proposal that Comptroller John Liu put forth today sounded strange coming from the man charged with ensuring the city's financial health: Add $176 million a year to the Department of Education's payroll. But Liu said city students so badly need more help applying to college that it would be worth spending the money to bring on more than 1,500 new guidance counselors, even if he didn't think the funds could be freed up elsewhere within the department's $23 billion budget. "Investment in education today is the best economic development policy for tomorrow," said Liu, a likely mayoral candidate, at a press conference that also featured union officials and education advocates. "The economic challenges facing our city can best be addressed by educating many more New Yorkers beyond high school," he added. The proposal is the first in the comptroller's "Beyond High School NYC" initiative, which Liu said today would use research to propose "strategic investments in public education" to raise the college-graduation rate for New York City public school students. Liu's office calculated that just 21 percent of students who enter city high schools later graduate from college, echoing the city's own determination that just 21 percent of students are college-ready.
October 4, 2012
For the first time, guidance counselors join ATR rotation system
Most teachers without permanent positions are looking forward to a greater chance of stability after the city and teachers union last month agreed to place them in long-term substitute slots before rotating them to different schools weekly, as happened last year. But the 300 guidance counselors and social workers in the Absent Teacher Reserve are gearing up to begin cycling from school to school for the first time. Last year, even as other members of the ATR pool, the group of educators whose positions have been eliminated, began the rotation system, the counselors were assigned to a single school so they could work with individual students for extended periods of time. But starting next week, they will be assigned to different schools each week, dramatically changing their roles and responsibilities. Instead of working with students one on one, the counselors will take on shorter-term tasks, city officials said. The tasks could include making classroom presentations on graduation requirements, conflict management, and the college or high school application process; organizing records; supporting the school's college counselors; and reviewing student schedules at the start of the semester. Coming at a time when many schools have trimmed support services because of budget cuts, the change has some educators and researchers raising their eyebrows.
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